Smart See, Smart Do: The United States Air Force Academy

Planes aren’t the only things touching the sky at the US Air Force Academy.

Smart See, Smart Do: The United States Air Force Academy - Chapel at Sunset

Photo Credit: Visit Colorado Springs

 The U.S. Air Force Academy’s Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an architectural masterpiece that brings in more than half a million visitors every year. The design features an aluminum, glass, and steel structure and 17 spires reaching 150 feet into the vast skyline. Construction on the landmark began on August 28, 1959 and was completed in 1963 at a cost of 3.5 million dollars. The principal designer was Walter A. Netsch Jr., who studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Furnishings, pipe organs, liturgical fittings and adornments of the chapel were presented as gifts from individuals, organizations, and donations from Easter offerings made at Air Force bases.

The chapel is an all-faith worship center. It contains separate places of worship for cadets of the Jewish, Buddhist, Catholic, and Protestant faiths as well as an all-faiths room that is used by cadets of the Muslim faith and is available to others. Each chapel has its own entrance, and services can be held simultaneously without interfering with one another. Cadet Chapel is open to visitors between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Large groups can request a guided tour by emailing Worship services are open to the public.

To learn more about the United States Air Force Academy, visit the admissions page, where you can learn about how to apply, summer camps, the daily life of a cadet, and more. The Academy is open to visitors daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To learn more, call the visitor center at (719) 333-2025 or go to the visitor information page on the web.

2304 Cadet Dr., Ste. 2300
USAF Academy, CO 80840

Planning to visit the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs? Click to search for a nearby hotel. Be sure to check out our college Travel Tips section to help you plan your visit. You may also download or print our free Smart College Visit evaluation form to help keep track of all of your campus visits.


Valerie McGinnis is a freelance writer and student at Liberty University. Val will graduate in 2011 with a degree in English. Smart See, Smart Do™ is a regular series appearing on